Modern economies depend on the reliable and affordable delivery of electricity. At the same time, the need to address climate change is driving a dramatic transformation of power systems globally.

Electricity Jpg

Key findings

Annual average growth rates of electricity demand in selected regions, 2001-2020


Global electricity demand is expected to fall by 5% in 2020

Global electricity demand is expected to fall by 5% in 2020, eight times the reduction in 2009 due to the global financial crisis. A faster recovery would reduce electricity demand by 2%, as all areas of economic activity resume. But wider spread of Covid 19 in Africa, Latin America and other areas of the developing world, and a second wave in autumn in advanced economies, could lead to an even greater decline.

Power sector CO2 emissions in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2040


Power sector CO2 emissions continue to rise

Power sector emissions increased 2.6% in 2017 and a further 2.5% in 2018, following three years of decline. In contrast, emissions in the Sustainable Development Scenario fall on average 4.1% per year to 2030. The Sustainable Development Scenario also sees emission intensity of electricity falling by 3.4% annually. In 2018, emissions intensity fell by only 1.3% as a result of generation from low-carbon technologies rising 6%, offset by a 2.6% increase in non-abated coal.

Electricity generation by fuel and scenario, 2018-2040


Electricity demand continues to grow

Rising electricity demand was one of the key reasons why global CO2 emissions from the power sector reached a record high in 2018, yet the commercial availability of a diverse suite of low emissions generation technologies also puts electricity at the vanguard of efforts to combat climate change and pollution. In the Stated Policies Scenario, global electricity demand grows at 2.1% per year to 2040, twice the rate of primary energy demand. In the Sustainable Development Scenario electricity plays an even larger role, reaching 31% of final energy consumption.


Our work

The Users TCP’s mission is to provide evidence from socio-technical research on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions. Decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation are embedding energy technologies in the heart of our communities. Communities’ response to these changes and use of energy technologies will determine the success of our energy systems. Poorly designed energy policies, and technologies that do not satisfy users’ needs, lead to ‘performance gaps’ that are both energy and economically inefficient. User-centred energy systems are therefore critical for delivering socially and politically acceptable energy transitions.

The mission of the HTS TCP is twofold: to evaluate the status of and assess the prospects for the electric power sector's use of HTS within the developed and developing world; and to disseminate the findings to decision makers in government, the private sector, and the research and development community. The HTS TCP provides evidence from socio-technical research on energy use to policy makers to support clean energy transitions. Through its work the HTS TCP provides evidence on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies in the area of high temperature superconductivity.

The ISGAN TCP is a strategic platform to support high-level government attention and action for the accelerated development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electricity grids around the world. Operating as both an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and as a TCP, the ISGAN TCP provides an important channel for communication of experience, trends, lessons learned, and visions in support of clean energy objectives as well as new flexible and resilient solutions for smart grids.

Through multi-disciplinary international collaborative research and knowledge exchange, as well as market and policy recommendations, the SHC TCP works to increase the deployment rate of solar heating and cooling systems by breaking down the technical and non-technical barriers to increase deployment.

The Hydrogen TCP, founded in 1977, works to accelerate hydrogen implementation and widespread utilisation in the areas of production, storage, distribution, power, heating, mobility and industry. The Hydrogen TCP seeks to optimise environmental protection, improve energy security, transform global energy systems and grid management, and promote international economic development, as well as serving as the premier global resource for expertise in all aspects of hydrogen technology.

The mission of the Energy Storage TCP is to facilitate research, development, implementation and integration of energy storage technologies to optimise the energy efficiency of all kinds of energy systems and enable the increasing use of renewable energy. Storage technologies are a central component in energy-efficient and sustainable energy systems. Energy storage is a cross-cutting issue that relies on expert knowledge of many disciplines. The Energy Storage TCP fosters widespread experience, synergies and cross-disciplinary co-ordination of working plans and research goals